When Catasauqua football head coach Tom Falzone and his staff drove to Tamaqua last Saturday to scout their semifinal district playoff game against Pen Argyl, they expected to see what undefeated Tamaqua would try and execute against them the following week.
Instead, they saw a team that showed how they have been riding the crest of a tidal wave the past few weeks.
Jimmy Deily knows it is a special gridiron season because he is on the verge of being part of district championship team in his senior season. It is also a special season with some unique family ties.
If the Roughies capture the District 11 Class 2A crown Saturday night, it will also mark a special night for Deily. His father, Jeff, was coached by current Catty assistant and then head coach Ed Cscensits.
The Catasauqua 130-pound youth football team rolled into Northern Lehigh with two goals on their minds.
One was to avenge an early season loss to a tough Bangor White team who beat them 29-14 on Sept. 30, and the second was to leave Bulldog Stadium with the 2012 130-pound championship.
Catty kicked off to the Slaters and the defense started off the same way they did in their first meeting. They gave up some big chunks of yardage, at first. But, after the defense settled in, Bangor had to go to the air. That was short lived.
Tony Brinkley had goals and expectations for his senior season of cross country. And he attained them, including running nearly exactly his goal time in his final race.
The Catasauqua senior finished his high school career Saturday at the PIAA Championship meet, taking 41st place in Class AA.
"Me and my coach set a target time," said Brinkley. "I hit the time. I was hoping for a medal, but I'm satisfied. I'm not extremely happy, but I'm satisfied."
If he had his way, Catasauqua head football coach Tom Falzone would rather face another team rather than Northern Lehigh in the opening round of the PIAA District 11 Class 2A playoffs Friday night at Alumni Field.
It is not that his team has any trepidation about facing the Bulldogs, but instead dealing with a case of familiarity.
In a season of unprecedented events, the Catasauqua football program reached one that is a true rarity in football circles.
Against Northwestern in their season finale last Friday night in New Tripoli, it wasn't that alarming the Roughies rolled up 57 points in their caging of the host Tigers. It was exceptional they scored all of those points in the first two quarters of football in their 57-3 pasting in which they tallied 36 second-quarter points.
Tony Brinkley knew it was his one and only shot to finish off his high school career at states. He made it last year and wasn't about to be denied a trip to the PIAA Cross Country Championships as a senior.
So he fought through the pain to make sure he reached that goal.
Brinkley finished seventh at last Wednesday's District 11 Class AA Championships while helping Catasauqua to a seventh-place finish as a team.
He hoped to place higher at districts, but when he didn't feel 100 percent from early in the race, he knew he had to run through it and get himself to states.
Even in a defeat, Catasauqua head field hockey coach Carrie Saul can see a silver lining. When he club recently dropped a District 11 Class 2A playoff game to Northern Lehigh by a 3-1 deficit, Saul can take some positives from the loss.
In fact, Saul believes it was another step in broadening her club's competitive appetite.
"It (loss) gave this club a taste of the postseason," said the first-year coach in the Roughies' program after a long stint at Phillipsburg. "Sure, it is frustrating and upsetting to lose, but this will definitely help them in the future."
Catasauqua's football team is in the process of adding a notable chapter to its football annals this fall, as they recently captured the Colonial League championship. When they travel to New Tripoli in their season finale with Northwestern Friday night, they are optimistic that history won't repeat itself as it did for the 1995 squad that shared a league title.
In that year, the Roughies lost a season-ending game to tarnish an undefeated regular season (9-1) and they eventually lost in the district playoffs.
Over the past four years, Ra'Von Burton and his brother Sa'Quon both figured their football program would someday soon win a Colonial League (CL) championship.
Ra'Von recalled how his older brother had the first inklings that a CL crown would return to Catasauqua for the first time since 1996 when head coach Tom Falzone was hired when Sa'Quon was sophomore.
"He (Sa'Quon) told me that he was different from the previous coach," said Ra'Von. "He (Falzone) was very positive and worked on different things. (Falzone) also turned it up in the weight room.